Lemon laws and auto fraud can combine in some cases

When people in Philadelphia buy a car, they could face a range of consumer protection pitfalls. While some defective cars that continue to fail repeatedly despite being sold under warranty are classified as lemons, in other cases, the transaction becomes a matter of auto fraud above and beyond the sale of a car with mechanical defects.

One California case currently being pursued highlights the ways in which lemon law issues can come together with auto fraud. The lemon law protects car buyers who purchase a defective or unsafe vehicle from a dealership. In this case, a woman bought a car from a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealership with a warranty that provided a rental car during repairs. As the woman drove with her young child to a weekend away from home, the brakes on her car failed. As she was far away from home in a sparsely populated area, she had her car towed to the nearest FCA dealership.

However, when she arrived, the woman was declined a rental or loaner car. The dealership said that her car would not be fixed for days. She was far from home and other local businesses. Instead, she was told that she must purchase a new vehicle, using her defective car as a trade-in. Despite her complaints that that she could not afford the new car, she eventually gave in and signed a contract for the vehicle. It was repossessed after six months.

Now, the woman is working with a lawyer to file suit against FCA and the dealership for selling her a defective car and then scheming to force her to sign another contract. People who purchased a car under warranty for a dealership and still wound up with a defective vehicle and unfulfilled promises might work with a consumer protection attorney to seek compensation for their damages.

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